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deep dish, I also wanted the perfect thin crust. To make a "true Chicago Pizza", we use water shipped in straight from Chi-Town for our dough, only the best ingredients, and the freshest toppings. Q: As any good patron knows, always ask the owner for his personal recommendation...So What is your favorite Pizza? A: The thin crust is my favorite, but our most popular item on the menu is the traditional Chicago Deep Dish! Q: There has been changes to the menu over the years, do you plan to bring back a Chicago "blast from the past? A: We are bringing back the Vienna Beef Hot Dog on a Poppy Seed Bun with all the trimmings! Yes, that means Hot Giardiniera and Sport Peppers! A Chicago tradition and right here in Georgia!

The founder of the original Chicago Pizza, Vic Comastro, is back in Atlanta! Not only bringing new recipe ideas to his classic favorites, but the flavor of Chi-Town to the South! A Chicago native, Vic has strived to make the most authentic Chicago Style Pizza outside of his hometown. Traditional Chicago Style Perfected! Q: Vic, Welcome Back to the Atlanta Area! What brings you back to Georgia? A: I was missing the wonderful people of Atlanta. This town also appreciates great food,much like the people of Chicago. Q: Chicago Pizza is a great addition to Vinings, GA! How did you get your famous Pizza recipes? A: After many years of owning restaurants in Chicago, I perfected the best recipes I could find. I didn't stop with the Scan the QR code and download the app to get $5 off instantly on your next visit!



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Our Town onthly M


Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Account Executive Sara Young, Feature Photographer Crystal James, Tiny Heart Studio

Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2013 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Contributing Writers Leisa A. Bailey, PhD Michael T. Morris II, MD Mercedes Verhine Mark Orler Holly & Diana Parks Pam Walker Amber Burckhalter Deborah Ratchford

Calendar of Events


Business Spotlight

109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825

– the honeybee and the bird and the bee 10

About the Cover


November Crossword


Expressing Anger in Healthy and Effective Ways


Sleep Apnea: Sleeping Problems Could be Hurting Your Heart!

in this issue


Our Town Monthly

20 Let’s Talk Turkey 21

Oreos, Skittles and Toilet Paper…Oh My!

22 The Abnorman Rockwell Thanksgiving 24 Our Town Travel – Ecuador 27 What’s Cookin’? 28 A Look Back at Paws in the Park 30 Are You Thinking About Getting a Puppy for the Holidays? 31/32 Holiday Gift Guide 33 Business Spotlight – The Music Studio at Vinings 34 Real Estate in Our Town 35 The School Corner PAGE 4

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

Center for Allergy & Asthma of Georgia Provding the Highest Quality of Care for Children and Adults with Sinus Allergy Asthma and Other Allergic Problems SAME DAY APPOINTMENTS

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SMYRNA 577 Concord Road Smyrna, Georgia 30082

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For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Votivo Our Town

ATLANTA CYCLING RIDES-SATURDAY VININGS LOOP: Year round on Saturdays, at Atlanta Cycling Vinings, 4335 Cobb Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339. Meet at 9am for a 55 mile ride and at 10am for a 22 mile in-town ride. Pace on all rides is optional, so ride at your own pace and enjoy the route or ride with the group. The painted routes are very well marked and easy to follow. For more information, call 770.952.7731 or visit

MOMS CLUB OF SMYRNA: Are you looking for a support group of other stay-at-home moms and their children? If so, the MOMS Club of Smyrna/Vinings West would love to meet you! Please join us for an Open House on Wednesday, November 13th from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at Small Cakes (4624 Camp Highland Road). Mini cupcakes and a craft will be provided for the children. RSVP to For more info visit Our club is zoned for Teasley, Nickajack and Russell elementary school residents in the 30080 and 30082 zip codes.

SMYRNA MOPS (MOTHERS OF PRESCHOOLERS): Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group will now offer a Night Group in addition to its traditional program. Keeping up with the program demand and meeting the needs of working Moms, the Night Group will meet once a month on Wednesday evenings. All Smyrnaarea Moms of kids age birth to Kindergarten are welcome, both SFUMC members and non-members alike. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact or visit

calendar of events

MOM’S WALKING GROUP: Meets Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10am at Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. Come meet other moms and enjoy a walk by the river. Contact Deb Cook, or email for more information.

LOVE STREET OPEN HOUSE: Kickstart the holiday season with Love Street! November 15th and 16th. They will have door prizes, a gift with purchase, and refreshments. Time to start your shopping! 1295 Concord Rd. SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. 770.434.8578.

JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB: “The Prettiest Native Plants” Master Gardner and Master Gardener Volunteer of Cobb County garden tour docent, Carmen Cudd, will present a visual program of the prettiest of the native plants; including trees, shrubs, and perennials that will encourage all of us to “ go native.” The Jonquil Garden Club meets every 4th Tuesday at the library in downtown Smyrna at 10:30 a.m. The objective of the Jonquil Garden Club is to beautify and preserve our environment by encouraging conservation and plantings, not only in our own gardens, but in public places as well. For further information regarding registration or inquiries about membership, contact Marilynn Parker at 770-949-6640. You may also want to learn more about the club and upcoming events at:

LIGHTS OF LIFE: A Holiday tradition started by Life University since 1989. A visual treat that the whole family will enjoy. From November 29th, through December 31st, every night rain or shine. Sunday through Thursday 6pm to 10pm, and Friday & Saturday from 6pm to 11pm. For cost and directions, please visit

COMING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Tuesday, Dec. 3 on the Village Green from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. for Coming Home for the Holidays. Watch Santa light the big Christmas Tree on the Village Green and transform downtown Smyrna with brilliant lights. Enjoy holiday festivities, musical performances by local church and school choral groups, activities for the kids, parade and a visit with Santa at the Smyrna Community Center. Bring the entire family for all of it and ring in the season downtown. This event marks the first official evening of holiday lights in the downtown. 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080.


Diabetes Education Classes: Whether you have pre-diabetes, have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or have had to live with diabetes for a while, this class is for you! The class is conducted by a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietitian, a Podiatrist, and a Pharmacist. Topics include signs and symptoms, monitoring, key test results, complication prevention, exercise, medications, a personalized meal plan, carbohydrate counting, label reading, eating out and sick day management. The classes will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and are held in the hospital’s cafeteria. Cost is $45.00 for three classes. A support person—without diabetes—may attend without charge. Fee is payable the first night of class. Call 770-437-6913 or 770-438-4373 for upcoming dates or to register. You may also register on-line at

Managing Diabetes with Insulin: If you are knowledgeable about diabetes, but want more information about insulin or are having problems with your insulin, this would be an excellent review class for you. This free class is held in the hospital cafeteria on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Please call the Education Department at 770-437-6913 to register or for further questions.

Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer “Staying Safe for the Holidays” on Wednesday, November 13, at 7:00 p.m. Staying smart to avoid becoming a target should be a priority every day. Unfortunately, the hectic pace of the holiday season requires extra precaution. Learn how to keep you and your family safe during the holidays by attending this informative talk by Officer Marc Couey, certified instructor in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention by the Crisis Prevention Institute. He will offer tips and steps to safeguard you and your family during the upcoming holiday season. Topics included will be shopping safely and protecting your home while you’re out of town. Learn how to be proactive in defending yourself and detect the warning signs of potential thieves. Call 770-319-2025 before November 6 to make your reservation. e Volunteer Auxiliary of Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer a “Masquerade” Jewelry and Accessory Sale on Wednesday, December 4, from 7 am to 7 pm in the cafeteria of Emory-Adventist Hospital. Everything is only $5 so make sure you stop by to do your holiday shopping. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted. Please call 770-438-5233 for more information.

Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will bring Christmas to the Community on Thursday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and blessings of the season at this special tree lighting event. Festivities will include holiday musical performances, refreshments and an appearance by Santa! Bring your camera to capture the evening’s special moments. Visit for updates or call 770-434-0710 for more information.

The Foundation of Emory-Adventist Hospital will sponsor a “Holiday Home Tour” on Sunday, December 8, from Noon to 6:00 p.m. The Foundation of Emory-Adventist Hospital welcomes the holiday season with a tour of some Smyrna/Vinings homes that are beautifully decorated for the holiday season. Your tour will include complimentary refreshments in the Tea Room at Community Bank of the South and entry into Santa’s Workshop of artisan gifts. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance and $25 per person the day of the tour. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of new patient beds for Emory-Adventist Hospital. Log onto to purchase your tickets or call 770-438-5233.


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

the honeybee and the bird and the bee

It’s hard to believe the honeybee, the quaint boutique located on Atlanta Road in Smyrna, just turned 4 years old last month! The honeybee, one of Smyrna’s jewels, is a widely popular women’s clothing boutique featuring women’s clothing, accessories jewelry and gifts. Step into this magical haven of fashion and if you close your eyes, you will imagine you’re in an upscale, Atlanta area boutique catering to the chic and most discriminating of shoppers. The honeybee carries fashion’s new trends, tried and true staples, one of a kind items and local artisans offerings. Brand names such as Beija Flor, Lilla P, and TOMS are main stays in the store along with new styles and handmade jewelry that arrive daily. Last year, when the shop located directly behind the honeybee became available, the bird and the bee was born. The bird and the bee is unique in its own right, a home and garden shop, that showcases Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, painted furniture, local artwork, home accessories, plants, gifts and more. Chalk Paint® workshops are also held at the bird and the bee. Our Town caught up with owner, Betsy DiGiorgio, late last month to reflect on the past, the future, and what’s in store for the holidays.

OT: The honeybee and the bird and the bee have been such a success. What has been your mission statement and what makes things tick?

the bee: The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. This is a statement that resounds on so many levels for all of us at the honeybee and the bird and the bee. As a part of our mission we have strived to be a part of the community and to give back whenever possible. We want to not only be a place to shop for the latest fashions for your wardrobe and home goods, but also be a part of the fabric of our community.

OT: Can you share with us the excitement and buzz coming out of the bird and the bee these days?

the bee: We are always trying to create energy by changing things up at the shop. The Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, is a wonderful product. We’ve had fantastic participation for our 101 paint workshops and are now adding 202 workshops. We made a decision earlier in the year to bring in furniture, and the response has been fantastic. The newly expanded space in the bird and the bee has given a great place to showcase the furniture. When deciding to open the bird and the bee, I knew it had to be different. Home stores can be found throughout Atlanta, but what we offer is unique due to a great deal of work, talented employees and local artisans; we can truly say we are different than other home and garden shops. We offer an array of furniture painted with Chalk Paint®, live containers, preserved containers, local art work and other great accessories and gifts for the home. We encourage everyone to stop in and see the difference for themselves. OT: What’s in store for the upcoming holidays at the honeybee and the bird and the bee?

the bee: We’re so excited about what’s happening in November and December. On November 9th, join us in welcoming James T. Farmer to the bird and bee for a book signing.

On November 23rd we will hold a Jill Massey Trunk Show at the honeybee and a TOM'S Style Your Sole Event will be held in "the barn". And don’t miss our Black Friday Sale on November 29th from 12-5pm

We will kick off the month of December with an Edith Ann Trunk Show at the honeybee AND Holiday Open House at the bird and the bee on December 5th.

OT: We understand the honeybee just celebrated its 4-year anniversary. Congratulations!


the bee: It is really hard to believe it has been four years in the honeybee and one year at the bird and the bee. We have grown in so many ways. The honeybee has expanded from one floor to two, and we’ve built the most incredible client base. The people that shop at both stores are actually more than customers; many are dear friends. Seeing a small business dream become a reality is mind blowing! I feel so incredibly blessed each day, and am thankful for my wonderful employees, friends and family members that never stop supporting and guiding me. e honeybee and the bird and the bee are located at 2968 Atlanta Road in Smyrna. ey are open from 10-6 pm on Mondays thru Saturday and on Sundays from 1-5 pm. the honeybee 770.432.5120 the bird and the bee 678.309.1149 Visit their Facebook page for new arrivals for fashion and your home . Facebook/the honeybee and Facebook/ the bird and the bee, home and garden.

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

feature photographer


From your doorstep to the airport. Avoid the airport hassle! SAVE TIME SAVE MONEY

ble for All Occasions! Availa


Family Owned & Operated

404-797-1500 • Crystal James is the owner and photographer behind Tiny Heart Studios, where the motto is "it's all about love!" She told us how thrilled she was to be photographing the students of St. Benedict's for the November issue of Our Town, since her children attend the school. "The St. Benedict's Episcopal Day School community is like my second family. There is so much joy and excitement in the hallways, and my kids love going to school!"

Crystal is a merit-winning photographer in the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP), where she also serves as a Global Moderator, helping others learn the business and develop their craft. Crystal has a studio in Marietta where she photographs newborns, but prefers to do families and children outdoors so they can run, laugh, and be silly together. A native of California, Crystal now calls Atlanta home after being here for more than 13 years. She and her husband Jeff live in Smyrna with their two children, Kylie and Jake. When she's not taking pictures, you will find Crystal on the tennis court, driving carpool, or writing tips for healthy living on her new website For more information about Crystal and her photography, you can visit or

Village to Village 11K Save the Date Saturday, November 16th

Zone 5 Events has partnered with the City of Smyrna and will be bringing the first ever-11k road race to town. This will be a fun and exciting race promoting health and wellness in the community of Smyrna. People of all ages are welcome to participate in this first time event. Race day registration begins at 5:30 am. Start time is 7:00 am where racers will gather at the Smyrna Community Center to begin. The course is flat with one short downhill and uphill. There will be 5 aid stations along the course to refresh. Come on out and get involved with your Smyrna neighbors and see what the villages are all about. All race participants will receive a long sleeve technical t-shirt and a medal for finishing. Food and liquids provided at the finish. A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Smyrna Education Foundation. Visit for online registration and more information about the Village to Village 11K.




Commercial & Residential Property Cleaning


Locally Owned and Operated Since 1994 • Bonded & Insured • FREE Estimates

770-445-7342 •




Don’t Miss Your Own Party! Let me do the work before, during and after.

Dinner Parties • Wedding Events • Birthdays Graduation • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs • Seders Anniversaries • Kids’ Parties

LINDA BIGGER • 770-952-0696 Party Hostess and Coordinator

New Directions Counseling Center

...helping you take a new direction in your life Providing therapy and evaluation services for children, adolescents, adults, families and couples Judi-Lee Webb, Ph.D., Christi Bartolomucci, Ph.D., CC Williams, Psy.D., MSW, Rhonda Perry, Ph.D., Michael Bucovetsky, Psy.D., & Jenny Van Overbeke Brooks, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologists

770.293.1950 • • 4045 Orchard Road • Suite 110 • Smyrna, Georgia 30080

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

About the Cover Head of School, Rick Betts, stands under an historic oak tree on the field of St. Benedict's new Middle School campus with students from preschool through 6th grade. St. Benedict's Episcopal Day School is a preschool through 6th grade (growing to 8th grade by 2015) located in the Smyrna/Vinings community near the intersection of Atlanta Road, Cumberland Parkway and the East-West Connector. Rigorous academics, daily Spanish instruction, religious education, physical education, music, art and Chapel form the structure of our week. Our 6th grade students benefit from our one-to-one iPad program. All of this takes place in an inclusive, faith based environment that defines Episcopal Education.

Joining Mr. Betts are front row: Daniel K. (Kindergarten); Olivia K. (Pre-Kindergarten); Shaan S. (1st grade); Avery P. (1st grade); and Ansley G. (2nd grade). Back row: Ella K. (3rd grade); Mary Pat B. (6th grade); Lily H. (3rd grade); Sage AR. (5th grade); Catherine S. (6th grade); and Chase M. (4th grade).

Once a week, students gather together in Chapel. We celebrate with one another and hold each other up in times of sadness. We do it together so everyone can join in.

Mr. Butler, our resident rock star, taught this song to our students. Its message, draw the circle wide, is important to all of us. When we sing this song in music class and in Chapel, we are reminded of the bigger picture of which we are all a part. We are also reminded of our own potential to grow as global citizens, always thinking of the larger circle. As our circle widens, our student body and our campus continues to grow. Our Middle School opened in August 2013.

Visit Us. Join us for an Open House, an Admissions Coffee or an individual appointment to better understand our community and the values we hold. We look forward to meeting you!

Sharing in the cycle of renewal, St. Benedict’s occupies the space that once was Locust Grove Baptist Church. A building over one hundred years old lives on with the St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School and St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church. As an Episcopal School, while developing compassionate leaders, St. Benedict’s is always seeking ways to care for the community and the world. Whether we are collecting diapers or coats or caroling, taking our voices out into the community, we are doing our best to draw the circle wide, encompassing more than we can possibly imagine.


Visit our website at to schedule your time with us. For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

november crossword

1 Charges


4 Fast food meal

9 Man in a funny costume

14 Environmental protection

agency (abbr)

15 Foreign

16 Eagle's nest

17 Caesar's twelve

18 Spring flower

19 Rhyming verses

20 Baby powder

22 Overlay

24 Choose

25 Roberto's yes

27 Twitch

29 Walk quietly

32 Address

(1 mile inside I285 on the right hand side, look for the British flags) • O PEN M ONDAY - F RIDAY 9 AM - 5 PM • S ATURDAY 10 AM - 4 PM


49 Value-added tax 50 Gum tree

52 Earlier form of a word 54 Crude

55 Executive

56 __ A Small World... 59 Shine

63 Reminder

67 Sheer, triangular scarf 69 Entomb

71 Disallow 72 Infirm

73 What a snake skin is

40 Extremely long time periods

76 Analyze syntactically

38 Electronic mail

404.351.4464 • 4880 South Atlanta Road • Smyrna, GA 30080

47 Palm

35 Affirmative 36 Tricks


45 Animal catching devices

42 Author C. S.

44 Singing voice

74 Purchase

75 Rumormonger 77 VI

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

1 Writings


2 Capital of Western Samoa 3 Bucket

4 Calorie

5 Extra-virgin sauce (2 wds.) 6 5280 feet 7 Noggin

8 One time 9 Vagary

10 Constellation 11 Brand of sandwich cookie 12 Weakling

13 Bird's home 21 Officer

23 And so forth 26 Limited (abbr.)

28 Unconsciousness 29 __ cotta (clay) 30 Jacob's father

31 Water retention

32 Side note

33 Military honor

34 Influential person 35 Still

37 IOU part 39 Oodles 41 Box

43 Book bags 46 Shoulder blade

48 Caustic substance

51 The other half of Jima

53 Female parent 56 Flukey

57 Fatigue

58 Look over 60 What children talk with

61 S.A. Indian 62 Heavenly light 64 Tides

65 Tropical island

66 Black gem 68 Strike

70 Seed bread

Our Town


Window Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Gutter Cleaning


We turn your dreams into reality at affordable costs.

Kitchen and Bath • Custom Carpentry • Handyman Services Serving Atlanta area over 25 years Contact our team, Bill & Dianne Kaplan

770-436-6866 • 404-550-4277

Fully Licensed and Insured


DON’T WAIT! Before you know it the holiday season will be here. Let us help make your home shine.


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any job of $150 or more. Expires November 30, 2013 SSot1113

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town


Make Radius Salon your partner in style this holiday season.

latest trends in cuts and color

family dental care

Two-Step Styling Duos $35 ($47 Value)

while quantities last


ye ar s

See website for new client discounts

/ Serving Smyrna

r fo s ing Vin

Dr. Leslie Sclafini Patrick & Dr. Alex Patrick

Offering comprehensive dental care for your entire family in a comfortable environment.


Open Tues - Sat (until 8pm Tues - Thurs) 1675 Cumberland Pkwy SE. • Smyrna

4480 Cooper Lake Rd. • Suite 210 • Smyrna, GA 30082 At the corner of Cooper Lake & the E-W Connector

678-309-9200 •





For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

OPEN HOUSE November 14, 2013 (9:30-11:00 am and 7:00 pm)

December 12th, 2013

Expressing Anger in Healthy and Effective Ways

(9:30-11:00 am)

by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

January 23rd, 2014

Educating Christian families since 1975

(9:30-11:00 am and 7:00 pm)

• Biblical worldview, strong academics in the classical tradition • K4 - 8th grade • Low student -teacher ratio • Positive, nurturing environment

CCS is fully accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC), member of ACSA (Atlanta Christian School Association) and is a member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS).

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Covenant Christian School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

3130 Atlanta Rd. Near Smyrna Market Village


“Anger management” is a commonly heard term to describe the skills necessary to recognize angry feelings and express those feelings in a constructive way. Anger management is not the same thing as denying or suppressing anger. When life does not go the way one wishes, or when one has been treated in a way which feels wrong or unfair; feelings of anger are typical. While everyone feels angry at times, when the feelings cause a lashing out where destructive things are said or done, the anger is clearly destructive. Dr. Tony Fiore and Dr. Ari Novick have developed eight anger management techniques. These techniques are comprehensively described in their book, Anger Management for the 21st Century. A summary of their program to successfully manage anger: 1. Recognize Stress. Understand how stress underlies anger and how to reduce stress before it turns to anger. Recognizing the triggers for anger as early as possible is a part of the process of learning to express these feelings appropriately. 2. Develop Empathy. Anger can be reduced to learning how to see things from the perspective of others. Feelings of compassion for others are not compatible with feelings of anger.

3. Respond rather than React. There is the capacity to learn to choose how to express anger and effectively communicate needs, feelings or requests. These learned skills are possible to develop at any age.

4. Change That Conversation With Yourself. Learning to change the “self-talk” empowers the ability to deal with anger more effectively in terms of how strongly you feel the anger, how long you hold onto anger, and how the anger is expressed. 5. Communicate Assertively. Being able to honestly and effectively communicate feelings and how to respond without hostility.

6. Adjust Expectations. Anger is often triggered by a discrepancy between what is expected and what actually happens. Learning to adjust expectations diffuses severe feeling of disappointment, which can be a trigger for anger outbursts. 7. Forgive, but Don’t Forget. Making a decision to “let go” (while still protecting ourselves if necessary) is often a process of forgiveness – or at least acceptance – and a major step toward anger control. However, this is not an open permission to others for bad behavior.

8. Retreat and Think Things Over. While perhaps a cliché; at times, it is most effective to take a “time out” by “counting to 10”, or getting away from the situation until feelings have calmed.

Research on anger has identified additional tools to the techniques developed by Drs. Fiore and Novick, to keep angry expressions appropriate and healthy. Many of these involve the suggestions offered to maintain emotional health and balance in all areas of life, and include: regular exercise, appropriate sleep, talking to friends about upsetting events or situations, distraction, use of humor to release tension, use “I” statements, deep breathing or other relaxation techniques.

Cognitive structuring is a specific tool developed by psychologists. This is a process of challenging and changing angry responses. It is about changing the way you think. When extremely angry, thinking can get overly dramatic. The tools to help stop the process which create patterns of angry responses include: • Avoid words like “never” or “always”. • Focus on goals. • Use logic and reason. • Focus on desires….not expectations. Expressing what you would like is healthier than saying you must have it.

While anger is a part of every life, clearly at times it is destructive. Most will be able to learn to express negativity appropriately, but some cannot. You should seek professional help if anger is having a longterm negative impact on your relationships, is making you unhappy, or is resulting in any dangerous or violent behavior. Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or Your comments or questions are welcome.


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

770.805.9977 Vinings Location • 4300 Paces Ferry Road Suite 125 • Atlanta, GA 30339 Monday - Friday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM


For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town


Do you snore at night? Do you wake up in the middle of the night? Or, do you simply find yourself tired during the day, even though you had a normal amount of sleep at night? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be at risk for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects about 12 million adults in the U.S. and is simply the interruption of breathing during sleep (for 10 seconds or more at least 5 times per hour). This is most commonly due to the collapse of the airway, which is called 'obstructive sleep apnea'.

When your breathing stops during sleep, your oxygen level drops and you will awaken in order to resume respiration. This will often happen multiple times over the course of the night, causing a disruption in the normal sleep patterns. Surprisingly, most people will not realize they ever woke up at night. Your body requires a certain amount of time in "deep sleep" called REM. In the absence of REM sleep, you will wake up the next morning and remain tired.

So how does this affect my heart?

While you are sleep, your cardiovascular system is able to relax. Your parasympathetic nervous system is activated and your blood pressure drops, your heart rate slows, and the overall tone of your vascular system is lowered. The exact opposite happens when you are under stress and your sympathetic nervous system is activated. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for what is commonly called the 'fight or flight' response. Unfortunately, when your respirations are interrupted by sleep apnea, the drop in oxygen levels activates your sympathetic nervous system and causes you to have a sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Even more concerning is that these effects persist after waking in the morning.

Ultimately, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), which is a major risk factor for problems such as coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart failure. For those who already have


hypertension, it often becomes more severe or becomes more difficult to control. There is even data linking sleep apnea to sudden cardiac death, which is when the heart stops beating properly due to a problem in the electrical system of the heart.

Do I have sleep apnea?

Some of the risk factors for sleep apnea include being overweight or having a thick neck. The increased fat tissue around the neck can contribute to the collapse of the airway. If you have a family history of sleep apnea, this will increase your risk. Use of alcohol or sedatives can increase your risk of sleep apnea by relaxing the muscles of the throat. Smokers are also at up to 3 times higher risk due to inflammation and fluid retention of the upper airway. Those with nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose can be more likely to develop sleep apnea. What do I do?

If you have any of these symptoms or risk factors, it is recommended that you discuss these concerns with your physician. They will be able to use screening tools to determine if you should be further evaluated with a sleep study. A sleep study is used to monitor your sleeping pattern and diagnose sleep apnea. If you do have sleep apnea, you may need treatment with a CPAP machine. This machine uses a mask to provide pressure to your airway to help keep it open. You should also try to improve on any other risk factors, such as obesity, smoking, or use of alcohol or sedatives. Michael T. Morris II, MD

About the author: Dr. Morris is a Board Certified Cardiologist and is the Founding Partner of Atlanta Vanguard Medical Associates in Smyrna, GA

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15% off any retail item exclusions may apply • exp 12/31/13 At Pinnacle, our physicians maximize results and minimize recovery time. How? By using leading edge technologies and the most innovative techniques. We take this advanced approach in every area of orthopaedic care, including Pinnacle specialties such as sports medicine, joint replacement, fracture care, spine, foot and ankle, hand, general orthopaedics and pain management.

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Let’s Talk Turkey by Mercedes Verhine This year as you sit around the dining table with your friends and family, maybe you can spark a feisty game of Thanksgiving Turkey Trivia. Let me get you started with some interesting facts I have come across over the years.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Turkeys received their names from Christopher Columbus. He thought he had landed near India and that the big birds were a type of peacock. (Turkeys are actually in the pheasant family.) He called them “tuka,” which means “peacock” in the Indian language, Tamil.

Wild turkeys can run up to 20 mile per hour, and when startled, they can burst into flight at speeds of 50 to 55 miles per hour. Domesticated turkeys are almost twice as large as wild turkeys and cannot fly.

A domesticated turkey will die if left in the rain. Intrigued by the droplets, it will look skyward, allowing the rain to flood its nose, thereby drowning the bird. (Maybe this is the origin of the saying, “not smart enough to come in from the rain”) Turkey has more protein than chicken or red meat. And although it does contain tryptophan, it is not enough to induce drowseness. Sorry, the after dinner napping probably has more to do with the full belly and fine wine than the drumstick.

Turkeys can have heart attacks. After Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947, the Air Force continued testing planes. They found that when the planes broke the sound barrier over turkey farms, entire fields of the birds below the pilots simultaneously dropped dead. Only a male turkey “gobbles.” A female turkey “clucks”. A male turkey is called a “Tom”.

George Washington was among a group of people that wanted to proclaim a National Day of Thanksgiving, in 1789. Thomas Jefferson remarked to the proposal as, “the most ridiculous idea ever conceived.” George Washington named the male turkey a “Tom” turkey in retaliation to Thomas Jefferson’s comment.

There is no evidence of turkey being on the thanksgiving menu in the Plymouth colony. However, there are records of deer and shellfish being served.

Swanson invented TV dinners in 1953, in part, because he had 260 tons of unsold turkey left over from thanksgiving.

10. According to the National Turkey Association, Americans eat more turkey on Thanksgiving, than 11.

the weight of the entire population of Singapore.

The tradition of a turkey being pardoned by the president began in 1947, although rumor has it that Lincoln pardoned his son’s pet turkey.

12. Turkeys were one of the first animals domesticated in the Americas.

13. Wild turkeys are almost all-dark meat and have a more intense flavor than their domesticated cousins.

14. The first meal in space was a turkey dinner.

Mercedes Verhine has had a passion for writing since she was a small child. A high school English teacher secretly submitted one of her short stories to a contest, which she won. Mercedes is a member of the Georgia’s Writing Association and has written short stories, fanzines, and articles. She is currently working on a supernatural thriller. www.Mercedes


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Oreos, Skittles and Toilet Paper……Oh, My! by Mark Orler

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The irony is not lost upon me that one of the main causes of Type II Diabetes is the overconsumption of sugary food, and that one of the greatest holidays synonymous with gluttony just happens to fall within this month.

What’s even more ironic to me is that during this month when our minds should be focused on limiting food consumption, my wife and I spend most evenings BEGGING our children to eat more. It had gotten so bad that my wife began serving them dinner in salad plates just so we wouldn’t feel so guilty when we saw the leftovers.

I was about to schedule a mass family colonoscopy when I noticed something odd about our pantry. It ate lots of cookies and hated toilet paper. To explain, I have a Sam’s card so when I go shopping I buy in what the rest of the world calls “American” quantities. I do this so that everyone in the parking lot knows what my most desperate needs are; toilet paper, diapers, bottled water, Skittles and Oreos. It is not lost on me that anyone seeing the industrial size Oreo’s and Skittles boxes might say to themselves’, “You know, if he would cut back on the sweets he might not need all that TP.”

Anyway, how I discovered that my pantry was consuming unholy amounts of Oreos and Skittles and squashing toilet paper rolls was realized after I watched my children from the back porch one Saturday afternoon. The plan worked like this. The oldest girl convinced her younger brother that it was okay to climb the pantry shelves to reach the hidden boxes of cookies and candy while she guarded the door and created a safe zone for him to achieve his mischief. The words were not even out of her mouth before he was scaling the wire shelving. Meanwhile, the instigator pulled the huge bags of toilet paper out from underneath the lowest shelf to create a “landing zone” should her agent fail in his mission. He did…but not before dumping an entire box of Oreos onto his sister. Think “It’s Raining Mocha Men” playing in the background.

As soon as the last Oreo hit the floor he proceeded to lose his footing and landed squarely on the 192 rolls of Angel Soft. Again…irony. The two of them gathered the bounty and called for their other sister who had been standing watch near the front door and the three of them headed off to their playroom where they stashed their booty under a loveseat. And had it not been for the simple fact that 192 rolls of Angel Soft now resembled 80 and that the Oreo box was 10lbs lighter, no one would have been the wiser.

At dinner that night I insisted that we enjoy a meal of Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrots along with roast beef or I was going to remove a certain loveseat from upstairs. And ironically, everyone found their appetites…Happy Thanksgiving.

Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at


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The Abnorman Rockwell Thanksgiving (A True Story) by Holly and Diana Parks Grasping the corners of her apron as oven mitts, Grandma eased the golden basted bird out of the oven onto the faithful china platter that Grandpa held steady. The cranberry sauce jiggled in the jelly dish and the crystal rang nervously as two of the youngest grandkids sprinted past the full table, narrowly missing the pumpkin pies and bread pudding cooling on the sideboard.

At this point, the scene captured by Norman Rockwell and long cherished as an icon of the traditional American family veered sharply from convention. The high school freshman bounded in to the den. “Time to eat! Find your name on the table.” The football fans heaved themselves off the couch and hesitatingly turned off the TV.

My dad appropriately found his place at the head of the table. Next to him sat his fiancé. Along the wall, my two teenaged sons were flanked by two of their five aunts. Rounding the corner, my mom’s chair remained empty; she was still in the kitchen, filling the gravy boat and untying her apron. Her husband patiently waited behind her chair. The newest sleep-deprived mama wedged her baby’s chubby thighs into the high chair while my ex-stepmother dis-


tracted the toddler with the ducks on the terrycloth bib. Her boyfriend, our most recent addition to the table, slid comfortably into his place like a hand into an old glove. The college contingent lined the fourth side of the table, returning jabs with the ever-rowdy uncles.

The butter dish made its way past more than twenty heaping plates and rested back in its place, wedged between the rolls and the sweet potato casserole. Topics of conversation spanned three generations, covering everything from golf to school projects and touching only briefly on politics before deflecting into safer territory.

As I scraped the last bite of apple crisp off my plate, I watched my daughter absent-mindedly press her finger on the tablecloth, collecting the wayward piecrust crumbs from her favorite dessert. Our latest member of the fold scooted his chair back, stood, and reached for his silver spoon to tap the side of his empty wine glass. A rare moment of silence filled the room. With smiling aplomb, my mother’s ex-husband’s ex-wife’s boyfriend announced his excitement at plans to become her fourth husband. The dining room erupted in applause as my dad (her ex-husband), and my mom (my dad’s ex-wife), led the well wishes with genuine sincerity.

Today blended families seem more common than the traditional Rockwell model, but rarely do you find them willingly in the same room, much less around the table. My friends shake their heads at the absurdity of our family dynamics, but then I think of the alternative. Family has less to do with blood and more to do with choice. Celebrating these moments together beats spitting nails.

One of my favorite books is Ann Voskamp’s Thousand Gifts. (Give yourself an early Christmas present and read it.) If I started my list of thanks with family members, I’d be halfway to a thousand pretty quickly. My family relationships have not come without pain or sacrifice, but then again, things worth having rarely do. On a “related” note, we are currently seeking extra table leaves for this year’s Thanksgiving Day dinner. Diana and Holly Parks are mother-daughter duo who have co-authored the book I Didn’t See Me Do It. Visit their website at or go to Amazon to order.

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Swim Lessons

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PRESCHOOL TO 6TH GRADE (7TH IN 2014, 8TH IN 2015) Open House • November 17, 2013 • 3:30pm

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ECUADOR’S NEW RAIL TRIP DOWN THE AVENUE OF THE VOLCANOS This was my 10th visit to Ecuador. This little South American country is doing everything in its power to make their country as inviting and special as Peru. Ecuador sends constant invitations to travel professionals to show off new touristic venues in hopes that we will help sell this hidden gem.

Ecuador is green and beautiful filled with historic buildings, colonial churches and lovely old haciendas. It even has Incan ruins (though nothing as amazing as Machu Picchu). Its other touristic attributes are the 26 active volcanos that line a central valley known as the Avenue of the Volcanos

I love Ecuador’s historic haciendas, which have been accepting guests for some years now. Operated like hotels, there is nothing like getting up from a cozy bed to enjoy breakfast in front of a roaring fire while gazing at the snow covered Andes out the window. Because of Ecuador’s location on the equator mornings are brisk. But by the time you are ready to saddle your horse (or hike or mountain bike); the temperatures are already nearing 75degrees. This is the land of constant spring, where you can go from the cool climate of the Andes in the morning, to the summer warmth of its beaches in the afternoon.

I am in Ecuador to transit the Avenue of the Volcano’s in the brand new Tren Crucero. Complete with elegant dining car, bar car, lounge cars and classic styled observation car, Tren Crucero begins the journey in historic Quito. It winds its way through the Avenue of the Volcano’s and some of the highest mountains in South America. The train makes stops along the way in small towns and villages, but best of all, we get to stay in some of the beautiful haciendas at night.

Ecuadorians have traveled this same route for over a century. The original Guayaquil and Quito Railway Company was created in 1897 by one of Ecuador’s first presidents to access the coastal areas from the highlands. From Quito to Guayaquil with a drop of 3000 meters between the two cities, the difficult part was the Devils Nose, where a system of switchbacks on the edge of cliffs led to the excitement of the trip.

It is still one of the most exciting parts of the trip. From the high glacier covered volcanos down to the hot and humid coast, our little train takes us in 4 days through the most beautiful areas of Ecuador. Four days of visiting towns, photographing the scenery and learning the history of the haciendas to make it an enjoyable journey. Today’s Tren Crucero is a train for tourists.

I do hope that Ecuador’s new slogan, Ecuador, Love Life, is a success, and that as many people come to visit this beautiful country as they do its neighbor next door[Peru]. Tren Crucero is a new highlight along its Avenue of the Volcanos and a great way to see this wonderful little Andean nation.

Pam Walker is a Virtuoso Travel Advisor PAGE 24

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Our Town

As the chill in the Fall air begins to settle, it means it is time to start planning for family gatherings and the holiday season.

Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans Georgia on my Menu, page 149 Yield: 6 servings 3 Slices Bacon, diced 1 Small Onion, diced 2 teaspoons cornstarch ¼ Teaspoon Dry Mustard 1 (16-ounce) can French Style Green Beans 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar 1 Tablespoon Vinegar Salt, to taste Cook bacon until crisp and remove from skillet. Add onion to 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Cook until tender. Blend in cornstarch and mustard. Drain beans, reserving ½ cup liquid. Stir in reserved liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and translucent. Blend in sugar, vinegar, and salt. Add beans and heat. Top with bacon. Whole Wheat Rolls Southern on Occasion, page 178 Makes one and one-half to two dozen rolls Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a large mixer bowl and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the buttermilk, oil, honey, and egg. Add the whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder. Beat for three minutes or until smooth. Mix in just enough bread flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for eight minutes or until smooth


what’s cookin’?

Below are some quick and tasty recipes that your family will enjoy while reminiscing about the years’ past and waiting for family supper. These recipes and more can be found in copies of the JLCM’s cookbooks, Georgia On My Menu and Southern On Occasion. Place your order by visiting the JLCM Website at All proceeds from these award-winning books will be utilized to promote JLCM’s mission of improving the lives of women and children in Cobb County through collaboration with community partners. The JLCM also provides training to its members that teach lifelong volunteer leadership skills in the charitable and nonprofit arenas.

and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface. Let rise, covered, in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down.

Shape the dough into one-inch balls. Place three balls in each muffin cup sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let rise for one hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Apricot Jam Southern on Occasion, page 17 Makes one and one-half cups 8 ounces Dried Apricots ¾ cup sugar Combine the apricots with enough water to cover in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Simmer until the apricots are plump and tender, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Process in a blender or food processor until the desired consistency is reached.



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Third Annual Paws in the Park Paws in the Park took place last month at Centennial Olympic Park and Our Town was happy to be there for our furry friends.

The third annual charity dog walk raised over $150,000 in the past two years for Atlanta Pet Rescue to directly benefit the animals at the no-kill shelter. Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption is a non-profit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating dogs and cats so they can be adopted into safe and loving forever homes. They have helped save more than 16,000 dogs and cats since opening in 2000.

Ending your pet’s pain & suffering IS THE KINDEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE, and in the comfort of your own home

We offer… •Guidance and consultation •Helpful information to assist you with the grieving process •Professional relationships with local veterinarians •Cremation/burial options and services 770.880.1596 • PAGE 28

Our Town’s very own K-9 Coach was the lead sponsor for the event. K-9 Coach is an award-winning dog training, boarding, grooming, and playcare facility. Their staff members are the most highly certified and credentialed possible, completing over 20 hours of continuing education every year. Photos courtesy of Leesia Teh, Atlanta Pet Photographer, Capturing the Face of Unconditional Love

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Michael D. Friedlander, D.V.M. Cat Care of Vinings Services

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Are You Thinking About Getting a Puppy for the Holidays? by Amber Burckhalter

The holidays are upon us! Weather is cooling, decorations are out and the air is abuzz with excitement. This time of year, many people decide to bring a new puppy into their home. New puppies require a lot of time and attention, and if only one family member is doing most of the workload or the training plan is not consistent, your new furry friend can quickly become your not so welcome guest. Getting a puppy is a family decision; so make sure all family members are prepared to pitch in! If you are thinking about adding a fourlegged friend to your family, either from a rescue or a breeder, make sure you follow these tips:




early training helping to make dog’s successful family members, K-9 Coach offers free puppy classes that cover training, housebreaking, crate training and more.


Educate yourself on the best dog for your situation. Are you active? Quiet? Lots of kids? Travel a lot? Want a sport dog? How will this dog fit into your life? Make sure you select the right breed or mix of breeds for you lifestyle. A house full of children under 12 is not a good fit for a very active herding dog nor is a huge Mastiff when you live in a small apartment. Think long term and take your situation into consideration during your decision. Take this time to educate your children on how to handle and treat a puppy as well, as many young children do not realize puppies are not stuffed animals.

Make sure that you prepare on the front end on how are you going to care for your new puppy. When will he sleep, eat, walk, train and exercise? What vet will you use? Food, tags, vet care, crate training, housebreaking, toys and training are all areas in which that you need to have a plan and purchase on beforehand. Starting on the right foot is vital to success and a well thought out care/training plan will help you greatly.

Training is extremely important to a new puppy. New pups do not know the rules of your home or your life and can quickly get hurt or into trouble and it is up to you to teach them these rules fairly, with patience and positivity. Early basic manners, safe socialization, housebreaking and boundary controls are key to keeping your pup happy, safe and healthy. Training has changed a lot of the past 10 years and the days of choke chains and alpha rolling are in the past, disproven by scientific data and shown to create behavioral issues. Find a positive good trainer who works with puppies and start as soon as you can. Because we believe so much in the importance of



New pups will chew on anything and have potty mistakes. Keeping your pup confined to smaller areas that are safe and the floor is easy to clean is great for the first few days. Using a kitchen with baby gates or a playpen area is useful. Removing all dangerous chew items such as cords, medications and toys and get down and crawl around to see what the pup may discover that you do not see standing.

On the big day your pup comes home, ideally between 10-12 weeks old, get some of the food she has been eating so you can either mix it in when you transition to your dog food or buy some of what you were given to avoid upset tummies. Bring home a blanket or other item that the litter or mommy dog has slept with to help your pup transition to being away from the litter. Until your pup is fully vaccinated, avoid taking them to places with high canine traffic. See your vet within 3 days of bringing the pup home and start your care/training plan the day the little furry whirlwind comes.

Amber Burckhalter, CNWI, CPDT, CDBC is the owner of K-9 Coach, APDT Board of Trustees, IAABC Certified Member, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and Business U Task Force, Cobb Chamber. K-9 Coach is located at 4870 South Atlanta Road, Ste 200, in Smyrna. 404.603.9744

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Give the gift of Football, Pizza, and Beer this year! One medium, 1 topping pizza, 20 boneless wings, 20 bone-in wings, a bucket of beer for $24.99. Chicago Pizza and Sports Grille, 3150 Highlands Pkwy., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. 678.213.0238


Delicious cupcakes make a great gift for all occasions especially the holidays! Favorites like Egg Nog, Gingerbread and Peppermint Crunch. These treats come wrapped in a SMALLCAKES box with a holiday bow ready for giving.


SMALLCAKES, 4624 Camp Highland Rd., Smyrna, GA 30082. 770.436.7400

Add European flare to any outdoor space. Terra cotta Art Nouveau Lady Planter is fully weather and frost proof. $110.

Englishman’s Fine Furniture, 4880 S. Atlanta Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. 404.351.4464.

Give the gift of beauty! Buy a $100 gift certificate at Bella by Alethea and receive an additional $50 gift certificate for yourself. Bella by Alethea, 4603 Wieuca Rd NE, Atlanta 678-908-3491


These popular Sercy beads are large blessing beads made of hand-painted beads and hand-made one of a kind clay pendant. Perfect for hostess gifts, housewarmings, birthdays, anniversary or just to say “I Love you!”

Make Radius Salon your Partner in Style this holiday season with Bumble’s 2-Step Kits! Each kit has products to make your hair either smooth and polished, or full and tousled. $35 ($47 Value). Radius Salon, 1675 Cumberland Pkwy. SE, #303, Smyrna, GA 30080. 678.309.9200.

The honeybee, 2968 Atlanta Road, Smyrna 770.432.5120

Who wouldn’t want great hair for the holiday season? Bob Steele Salon gift cards are available in any dollar amount, and perfect for anyone. Conveniently purchase yours today at 4403 Northside Pkwy., Ste. 160, Atlanta, GA 30339 404.432.6005 Surround your home with lasting fragrance this holiday season! Treat yourself to improved air quality in your home. A Lampe Berger takes less than 20 minutes to eliminate undesirable odors from a room, such as cooking, tobacco and pets odors. Available in 40 different fragrances including, heavenly spruce, cranberry & gingerbread. $39.99 holiday gift set. Wallpaper & Stuff, 1184 Concord Rd., Smyrna, GA 30080. 770.434.1121.

Titanz Fitness & Nutrition has an exclusive gift opportunity for OUR TOWN readers in the form of gift certificates for 3, 6 and 12 month memberships as well as small group and personal training packages. For the holiday season, we will be offering – Buy one month, get one free for memberships as well as Buy two training sessions, get one free. These gift certificates will show your loved ones how much you care.

Titanz Fitness, 3150 Highlands Pkwy., SE, Smyrna, GA 30082. 770-432-6005

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Give the gift of local or USA made when you shop at Love Street. One of their most popular holiday items are wooden reindeer, made locally by the owner’s brother. Each one has a unique personality and many sizes are available, prices range from $30 for babies to $75 for a big daddy reindeer! Love Street Gifts, 1295 Concord Rd., Smyrna, GA 30080. 770.434.8578.

Get Pure results this holiday season with a Pure Barre Vinings gift card. Join the fastest growing workout in the nation. This lowimpact, high results workout is completely safe and works your entire body in less that an hour, all set to killer music!

Score a home run this holiday season! Received one free pair of batting gloves with any bat or glove purchase in excess of $100. Jonquil Sporting Goods, 1848 Spring Rd., Smyrna, GA 30080. 770.432.1194.

pure barre, Vinings Jubilee, 4300 Paces Ferry Rd., SE, #476, Atlanta, GA 30339. 770.989.1375

Quality tools are a great choice this year. Dewalt and more on sale at your favorite family-owned hardware store. Dewalt 37-Bit Screwdriver Set Regular price, $27.00, Holiday Price, $19.99. Vickery’s Hardware, 881 Concord Rd., Smyrna, GA 30080, 770-435-4567

Primal Elements Candles, “They look good enough to eat!” At $20, scents like Pumpkin Patch, Angel Food Cake, and Baked apple are sure to please any candle lover on your holiday list.

Salon Lotus, 2999 Cumberland Blvd. SE, Atlanta, GA 30339. 770.432.7868

phone: 800.878.4756 email:


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With the school year under way, there is no better way to supplement a child’s education than by enriching his or her schedule with the arts! Local parents need look no further than the newly expanded Music Studio at Vinings. Conveniently located in the same building, this arts center has more than doubled its original size! Upon walking in the front door, student families are greeted with a bright and inviting atmosphere. Colorful flowers and inspirational quotations adorn the walls. The new family lounge and student activity room have become a comfortable retreat for parents and siblings alike. Owner and operator Cecilia Rowe expresses “We are so excited to serve this wonderful community with an all-encompassing fine arts hub!”

As in the previous space, The Music Studio offers music lessons in most all instruments seven days a week: piano, voice, guitar, drums, brass, strings and woodwinds. Each of the instructors teach a variety of instruments, methods, and styles of music. In addition to the wonderful music lessons, there are many fun, quality classes for children and adults as well! Some of these engaging offerings are etiquette, theatre and


dance, adult and kids comedy, group music classes, chess, and knitting classes. Most classes will be $50 per month, running on 8-week sessions, starting the week of October 1st. They are so pleased to welcome to The Art Room Susan Pavone of “Art A La Carte” into the Studio family. The Art Room will feature themed afternoon art classes, specialty classes like sketching and sewing and knitting, and kids birthday parties on the weekends. For Adults, there will be fabulous BYOB adult art classes at night, as well as Open Studio and “Coffee and Canvas” in the mornings. If you are interested more in “Mommy and Me” activities, The Music Studio is thrilled to include Miss Jennifer’s “Music Together” classes for parents and children aged infant to 5 years, with many class times available to fit your schedule. Also available are “Mommy and Me” Yoga (starting at 18months and up) and “My Smart Hands” baby signing.

The Music Studio at Vinings is also pleased to extend a discount to all Atlanta homeschoolers and families with flexible schedules. Weekday music lessons from 10:00am–2:00 pm and ALL Friday classes will be $20 for 30 minutes!

What started out 25 years ago as one family’s vision has evolved from In-home instruction to now include one of Atlanta’s premiere afterschool arts centers. This family consists of Marilyn and Jack Courtnay (mom and Dad) daughters Ariane Courtnay Crumley and Cecilia Courtnay Rowe, and husband Sean Rowe. If you have been around any of the Courtnays or Rowes, you will know that they are avid believers in the “power of positive thinking,” imparting a totally different teaching philosophy than most music instructors in town. Because of this philosophy and their stellar reputation, they’ve been fortunate to attract many of the finest teachers in Atlanta. Cecilia beamed as she concluded “We are so thrilled for these new enrichment options – there is truly a fabulous teacher, instrument, class or activity to inspire every member of the family, and at all hours of the day.” Mention Our Town and get half off music registration ($25 value) or a FREE Afternoon Art Class! e Music Studio at Vinings, 4686 S. Atlanta Road, Smyrna 30080. Phone: 404-351-9722. For more information, call the office or visit their website at

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Our Town

REAL ESTATE IN OUR TOWN by Deborah Ratchford

WHAT IS GOING ON IN TODAY'S MARKET? The truth is, no one really knows what is going on in today's market. It has many people asking, “Are we in an economic bubble?” Some people you speak to think we will continue to experience a good market for a couple of years, and then possibly see another correction. I tend to agree with this group of people, who think a correction may be in our future.

Currently, we are seeing home prices on the rise. Sellers are able to get a little more for their homes than they would have several years ago. This could be due to low inventory. As we look back at the last couple of months, we have seen a small increase in the number of homes for sale, but inventory is still incredibly low. If homes are priced right, according to comparable properties, and are in good condition, they will sell. Appraisers are looking for upgrades and square footage. However, upgrades should be implemented with caution, because there is no guarantee that you will re-coup your costs, even in today’s market. If you have been thinking about selling your home, consult a local Realtor to decide if making the upgrade (s) you have in mind will add value to your home. Your Realtor will be able to advise you on the best way to move forward, when listing your home for sale.

This is the best time to sell and buy, especially with interest rates still at an all time low. Please feel free to use my team and me as a resource for any of your real estate needs. We can be reached at 770-874-6382 or 678-570-4779. You can also email us your questions or request a free market analysis at Don’t forget to visit Deb on the web at and



One-On-One, In-Home Tutoring Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779

SMyrnA/MAblETOn 678-275-8765 PAGE 34

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• All Subjects • Pre-K - Adult • Writing • Math • Science • Foreign Languages • SAT/ACT Prep • Diagnostic Testing • No Long-Term Contracts • Affordable Rates • Qualified Teachers

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Our Town

The School Corner

alumni, students, parents, teachers, and local dignitaries was held on Sunday, October 13 complete with birthday cake and a performance by the school’s Music Club.


Known as “the best little school in Georgia”, Teasley Elementary has reason to boast. This month marks the school’s 50th year of providing education to young minds in Smyrna and Vinings. A special celebration/open house for

Named after the 1st principal, Roy A. Teasley, of nearby Fitzhugh Lee Elementary School, the school opened its doors to students in Grades 1-8 in 1963. By 1978, the kindergarten program was added. Today, Teasley’s student population is 735 students, and growing. Growing so fast, that this year, the school is undergoing Mrs. Doyle’s 1st gr a major construction project that has split the ade 1963 Class students into two campuses: one at the former Brown Elementary and the other at Teasley’s 3640 Spring Hill Road location. This project consists of a 20- classroom addition, relocation of existing administrative/student services areas, a kitchen addition and cafeteria expansion, a new gymnasium to replace the existing facility, and various mechanical/electrical system upgrades. School Principal Leslie Mansfield says, “When its all finished, students and teachers will have an exciting opportunity to continue a tradition of excellence at Teasley.”

The school has always been innovative in its community outreach: its chorus regularly performs at the annual Vining’s Christmas Tree Lighting; the International Night, bringing multi-cultures together, has been a great success; and the Teasley PAWS Foundation-named to honor the school’s Tiger mascot-has encouraged surrounding businesses and community groups to provide funds and in-kind donations for much- needed special projects, including paying for a Science Specialist to be part of the school’s staff. Foundation President Elizabeth McRae says, “The generosity of our corporate and civic club partners has made it possible for school administrators and teachers to be more creative in their approach to educating our children and solidly preparing them for high school and beyond.” For more information on Teasley, visit


We are proud to announce that this is our second year and due to an overwhelming number of students interested in joining (far more than we could accept) our membership has grown significantly. The Nickajack Math Team is now made up of over forty 3rd - 5th grade math enthusiasts. Our mission is to empower students mathematically and have lots of fun doing it! We provide a place for children who love mathematics to strengthen their critical thinking and team building skills by participating in several math competitions throughout the year. We talk math, we play math games, we learn about mathematicians, and much, much more! Most importantly, we strive to develop confidence and an excitement for mathematics that will last forever. THE HARMONY LELAND CHESS CLUB

The new school year also brings competitive chess to our area schools. The Harmony Leland Chess Club, in its inaugural year, (pictured below), serves over 20 children, ranging from beginner to advanced students. Other public schools with active chess clubs around Cobb County include King Springs Elementary, Nickajack Elementary, The International Academy of Smyrna and Mableton Elementary. Chess will soon begin at the new Smyrna Elementary School. Many of these bright students will participate in individual Scholastic Chess tournaments around Georgia, including a rated tournament held at Campbell High School on October 19, 2013. Area school teams will compete beginning in Winter 2014. In recent years, teams from around Smyrna have competed and won at the regional and state level. Playing chess has proven to help students enhance their creativity, improve their power of concentration, develop and expand critical thinking skills, boost memory and retention, and achieve superior academic performance. Additionally, chess has been shown to augment problem-solving capabilities, provide cultural enrichment, advance intellectual maturity, and enhance self-esteem. Chess2Children provides instruction at 16 area schools, including those listed above, and continues its commitment to educating and enriching young minds by expanding programming into private schools and non-traditional venues. Visit to learn more.



Located in Smyrna, Griffin Middle School recently started a foundation to raise funds and provide resources beyond those provided by the Cobb County School District. A non-profit organization, the Griffin Middle School Foundation (GMSF) will spearhead an annual capital campaign and sponsor events throughout the school year to help increase community involvement, parent participation, and student achievement.

“Our primary goal is to help enhance the educational opportunity offered at Griffin Middle School and, in turn, build a stronger community,” said Denise Raymond, GMS Foundation President. “Our first order of business is to raise enough money to repaint the gym and theater, two areas that are highly visible to current and prospective parents and students. By improving these two facilities, we can positively impact the reputation Griffin has in the community.” To learn more about how you can support the Griffin Foundation, please visit


Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott visited the new middle school expansion of St. Benedict's Episcopal Day School on a beautiful fall day last week. Chairman of the St. Benedict's Board of Trustees, The Rev. Brian Sullivan, emphasized how Commissioner Ott was instrumental in bringing the neighbors and school together to approve a final plan for St. Benedict's new middle school campus. Pictured with Mr. Ott are several members of the 4th grade class on the site of their new field. Looking at the children on the field and seeing the traffic along Cooper Lake Road and the East/West Connector, Mr. Ott delighted in the visibility of children for the whole community. Immediately after this picture was taken, one of the students, Brady P., looked up at Mr. Ott to ask him what he did for a living. Commissioner Ott quickly reverted to his former profession as a teacher by explaining what it meant to be a Member of the Cobb County Commission while teaching the differences between cities, counties and their different government structures.

With a middle school building that has the capacity to add 60 new children every year for the next two years, St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School is poised to graduate their first 8th grade class in the 2016. The expansion includes rooms dedicated to science and math, a multi-purpose room for P.E., music and a cafeteria, as well as, four classrooms for the current fourth, fifth and sixth grades. With their new Head of School, Rick Betts (former Assistant Head of School at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School), firmly in place – the future is looking very bright for St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School. As the tour was ending, Mr. Ott asked St. Benedict's Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions, Mrs. Anne Shamanski, about her future plans. She simply said, “My future plans only go as far as the end of the month when Admissions Coffees begin. I am very excited about this new chapter of our school, and I am anxious to share our growing school with prospective families. ” With so much to offer our neighboring communities, it is easy to see why she will be so busy as the admissions season begins.

St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School admits students without regard to race, sexual orientation, color, national, religious or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, color, national, religious or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, tuition assistance programs, athletic and other administered programs.


Atlanta Classical Christian Academy is a school striving to glorify God by providing a rigorous and unapologetically Christian education in the classical tradition. We aim to cultivate truth, goodness, and beauty in our students with a thorough Christian worldview. Such an education equips students with more than simply facts and knowledge. It gives students the tools of learning so that they are capable of learning independently. It cultivates in students a love of knowledge and a desire to know more about the Creator and his creation.

Serving grades Pre-K through 8th in the greater Atlanta area for the last 9 years, ACCA recently moved just north of Smyrna to new facilities at GracePointe Church, located at 505 Atlanta Street in Marietta. Come visit us during one of our upcoming Open House events and see what makes ACCA truly exceptional! We are now accepting applications for the 2014-15 academic year. Open House Dates: November 12, 2013 - 9:30am and 7pm • January 14, 2014 - 9:30am and 7pm

In the News: September 26th was a beautiful, sunny day for the 2013 ACCA Fall Soccer Classic. Students, parents, siblings, faculty, and staff all joined in the fun! We clashed on the soccer fields at Jonquil Park in Smyrna, and as always it was a great time of fellowship for our school community.

ACCA held its annual Jog-a-thon fundraiser on October 25th, in which students get pledges and then race around a track to raise funds for their school. We exceeded our goal and will be installing an additional playground structure for our new facility this month!

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Our Town

Our Town Monthly  

The Smyrna Vinings Family Lifestyle Magazine November 2013

Our Town Monthly  

The Smyrna Vinings Family Lifestyle Magazine November 2013